the split second love…




backyard sunset

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I walked into the VA Monday morning at 0600 and did my usual routine with my stroll across to the dental college through the tunnel and up the stairs to what ever floor I can manage.
Every week when I visit Charlotte I go through this.
The tunnel is rather long-about two blocks perhaps,and many of the people who work in Shands Hospital or the VA use this as a place to walk of the pounds so every morning there is a steady parade of fast walkers going hup hup hup in that funny pace they keep,and the sound of sqeeks from the sneakers grinding on the linolium tile floor.
There is one guy in particular. Ive passed him every week and every week we have some kind of hurried conversation which begins when we are in range enough to begin saying ‘good morning’-which this fellow does first and from that we say two or three quick words…most said from the hearing advantage of ones backside because we’ve passed each other that quick and theres just a need to pick one choice statement and keep on going. The longest conversation is what I call it because one week we say something-say for instance something about the universities football team,but like I said-its all quick because hes going in one direction and I am going the other way and ll of this is while he is power walking-so,the following week we pick up a fast point about what we said last week and so it goes.
I have no clue who he is or what he does there-he and I have never introduced each other…he sees me coming and says ‘there he is’ and I say ‘goodmorning’ and he makes a comment and poof…until next week.
Then…theres the woman on the fifth floor.
First-let me explain to you that I walk funny. I have had a guy tell me one time that I walked like a pimp…? However-I do know that I walk funny After I had the stroke something happened to my left arm and my hand and two of my fingers-so I walk with my left arm further out than the right and my hand does this nervous thing that makes my fingers twitch constantly which made some knuckle head come up to me and act like we were two cowboys fixing to draw on each other in a gun fight. And then theres the walk itself-I sort of lumber along in a strut and for some reason my left foot makes this sound that the right foot lightens up on…so its sort of a tromp poof tromp poff tromp poff,and you can hear me coming down the halls.
There these two black guys on the fifth floor who buff the floors and over the two years Ive been going through the routine that I do-I have passed these guys-same deal as the guy in the tunnel…a quick pass,usually these two guys are near elevator B and its the quick conversation while I wait for the elevator to get there.
These two fellows have come to call me ‘Cool Breeze’…they hear me coming tromp poof tromp poof and from way down the hall is this pair and they are already saying ‘here comes Cool Breeze-here he come’.
One morning one of them said-man,do you know who you are?
I was like this-what the heck do you mean?
And he says ‘yeah yeah man-you the dude on Water World’….
now that told me nothing but I learned from his partner that it was a movie. Yeah yeah the dude goes on-it your eye man you do your eye like that dude in Water World.
I’m light blind in my left eye,so it squints all the time and I usually wear sunglasses most of of the time….so this guy is telling me I’m the same guy thats in this movie. After seeing it-he meant Dennis Hoppers character,which was pretty cool to me.
Well-all of this begins from when I turn the corner at the south end of the building. My footsteps are loud and so when I reach the turn in the hall these guys have heard me and they start right away going with the Cool Breeze…..and midway down the hallway (its a reaserch area and its one door after another with small cube like offices,about ten or fifteen of them in a row)
midway is an office that the woman keeps the door cracked about 12 inches -its usually the only open door in the entire hall. I confess-I look for it to be open. I confess-I look forward to it being open.
It takes me a split second too walk by her.
I glance in the door-shes already been alerted by the pair down at the elevator calling me Cool Breeze,so when I pass….I know shes timing my steps (tromp poof tromp poof tromp) and as I pass she looks up and gives me this smile that just makes my day. It only lasts that fraction of a second….seeing her,Ive only just seen her face. I dont know her name-or anything about her….but I know that each week my walk through the two buildings comes to its end passing her office and seeing her look up and give me that smile.

A million trillion times Ive wanted to stop and say thank you-and a million trillion times my whole throat chokes up like someone is fixing to gag me and I couldnt hardly speak to her for a long period just to say good morning,we now do that….and theres these two dudes thinking I’m bad to the bone struting along like some bad assed dude-when the whole time I’m just wanting to get the hell out of there.
Its funny though,how sweet a private moment like that is. Lasts just what it takes to pass that door-but yet it means so much to see that smile.

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